“I am not scared of this boy,” she lied. “I am almost old enough to be his mother.” – Gwen Smith in Lessons From A Younger Lover
“Age is just a number, Butterfly, and good music is timeless.” – Ransom Blake in Lessons From A Younger Lover
“First grade teacher Gwen Smith was happily married–until her husband got himself a twenty-something mistress and filed for divorce. Now just months away from turning forty-one, Gwen is back in her tiny California hometown, caring for her ailing mother, convinced her life is over. Then she meets Ransom Blake.
Ransom is a twenty-six-year-old hunk who pushes every one of Gwen’s buttons. Gwen has no intention of getting involved with a younger man, but he won’t take no for an answer. So when he shows up at her classroom unannounced, Gwen can’t help but tell him off–and then she realizes he’s come for his daughter. But Ransom isn’t shy about letting Gwen know how she can make it up to him. And if he gets his way, Gwen will lose all her inhibitions–and her heart…”
#3words2describe – Crazy, Hot, Romantic
When Lessons From A Younger Lover opens, the world as Gwen Smith knew it has fallen apart. Little does she know that a whole new world is about to open for her after she literally bumps into a life-changing force outside of Kristy’s coffee shop – in the form of 26 year-old Ransom Blake. They both feel the sparks of interest. The rocky start continues when Gwen later tells Ransom off for bothering her on her job (teaching at an elementary school) before discovering that Ransom is actually there to pick up his daughter, Isis (coincidentally, her favorite student). Although flustered after the fuss, they both feel the sparks of lust. Ransom is interested stoking the sparks. At 40 years-old, Gwen is not. Wanting to be the picture of propriety, Gwen tries to spurn his advances. Ransom is way too young. And teachers shouldn’t date the parents of their students, right?
Lucky for her (and us), Ransom is a man who knows what he wants and knows how to get it. Even if he has to teach the teacher. His challenge (and the best part of the novel) is convincing Gwen to take a chance on lust and love after being hurt by an unfaithful husband. The story has a good mix of romance and erotica. The romance is believable and the sex hot. This book is stuffed with all sorts of goodies: real romance, steamy sex, sibling rivalry, baby mama drama, music, and more crazy people than you can shake a stick at. But sometimes you can get too much of a good thing…
The other subplots involving Adam Johnson (Ransom’s older half-brother and Gwen’s boss) and assorted crazies took the story down from 5 stars to 4 to me. Don’t get me wrong. I am all for stretching the imagination and just going with the flow. However, I feel like they were so far out there that they took away from the heart and power of the story – the rewards and challenges that come with an older woman/younger man relationship. I wanted more focus on Gwen and Ransom … to see more of how their relationship developed.
Gwen’s character also seems a little uneven to me. Day tries to portray her as a stereotypical borderline-frigid divorcee throughout most of the story. However, Gwen’s language and thought patterns go from the proper “I have a Master’s degree in Education” to the colloquial “Jenny from the Block” at the drop of a hat. Yes, women have many different sides. But this flip-flopping makes for distracting dialogue and disposition shifts. There is a similar dialogue weirdness with Ransom. Minus another star.
At 3 stars, I like this novel. The romance side of the story really speaks to the “what if you took a chance” aspect of a good love story. I think this aspect makes it a worthwhile read in spite of the crazies. I was rooting for Gwen and Ransom’s HEA (happily ever after) the whole way. I would read another story by Zuri Day.
I’d also be more than willing to take some lessons from Ransom. And do my best to get an A+. Whatta Man!
- Urban romance readers
- Romance readers
- Erotica readers
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I listened to the unabridged audiobook version of Lessons From A Younger Lover from Griot (Recorded Books), narrated by Myra Lucretia Taylor. I highly recommend it. The audio version recommended listening to the In Love With a Younger Man audiobook, if I liked Lessons From A Younger Lover.